C/O Max Kukurudziak, Unsplash

We should rely on our humanity to navigate through hurt and sorrow 

My heart is heavy as I turn on the news and see events that many of us know all too well. Some of us have read about them in history books, lived through them ourselves or been close to people who have had similar experiences.  

Regardless of why we feel hurt deep within us, we must recognize the validity of these feelings and the best way to act upon them. 

I am Bosnian-Croatian. Exactly 30 years ago, Sarajevo was under siege — just as Kiev is today. My parents and all my loved ones have directly witnessed events that are very much the mirror images to those in Ukraine today.  

Having deep connections to my roots and my loved ones, I feel empathy for those experiencing it today. It’s still unfathomable to me that, after too many years, wars, conflicts, acts of violence and long-held tensions, we still fail to understand that war is not the answer.  

Regardless of why, it is still valid to feel hurt and empathize with those experiencing conflict today. It does not matter that you have not lived through a war, a siege, bombings, violence or anything of the sort. The fact that we care and feel so much hurt is a testament to our humanness and the solidarity that accompanies it.  

As humans, we are built to care for others. Although we are not all in the same situation, we still react in a trademark human way.  

So, what do we do with these feelings? Although it is all too easy to make a few posts on social media to show we care, how much does this really do? Why don’t we start in the simplest way and discuss our feelings, thoughts, opinions, hopes and worries?  

While a few pictures with a caption may not do much, sharing our humanness with others and allowing ourselves to feel will further bolster civilization’s unity in the long run.   

What’s happening in the world right now can be viewed through a variety of lenses — political, sociological and economic. Let us begin by viewing it through a human lens.  

Given the difficult complexity of our world, we can always find an anchor in our own humanity. This is the approach we should be taking to grapple with such a precarious event. 

It should, however, be noted that those on both sides of every conflict are allowed to feel the same hurt, pain and anger at current events. Our differing perceptions are what vary dramatically, but we can still acknowledge that they — however different from ours — are also human and experience the same hurt that others do.  

Human nature is unwavering, but it can be manipulated and conceived in many ways.  

Understanding this is the first step to re-establishing peace in even the most turbulent times.   

While what is happening is difficult to understand, we can look within ourselves to find the right response. Though our simple actions may not have tangible impact, finding the roots of our solidarity and being able to fortify it is invaluable in times of conflict. Regardless of how we feel, what we do or who we are, it is all built upon the foundation of the human being. 

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